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Putting Creativity to Work: Creative Placemaking with People at the Center

Arts projects that focus on engagement and collaboration outside the arts sector are sometimes the most successful, but are often the most difficult to complete successfully. A practitioner’s seasoned perspective on creating work that engages and transforms communities, we will learn about projects with New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection/Local 147 Sandhog’s Union, a city-wide gathering at Union Square four days after 9/11, and a national arts project with 30 minimum wage workers and 30 multi-millionaires. Presentation will also include Art At Work is a national initiative to improve municipal government and the communities they serve through strategic arts projects with municipal employees, elected officials, residents and artists. Creative Placemaking with people at the center, AAW strengthens community resilience and generates cultural, civic and economic vibrancy by engaging people in making and experiencing art that matters.

In the face of increasingly complex municipal challenges and diminishing resources, Art At Work has successfully demonstrated that artmaking is a valuable, cost-effective, sustainable tool that builds respect, sense of purpose, collaborative capacity and vision within the municipal workforce and the communities they serve. Piloted in partnership with the City of Portland ME since 2007, Art At Work Holyoke was launched in partnership with the City of Holyoke MA in 2012.

Art At Work has put creativity to work delivering measurable outcomes that have improved police morale, deepened cross-cultural understanding in Public Works department, ended escalating confrontations between youth and police and significantly increased the public’s awareness and appreciation for art, local government and civic engagement. Our neighborhood development Our Town project – Meeting Place – was selected to be featured as one of the NEA’s five e-book’s on Creative Placemaking.

Posted October 29, 2013 in: by Peter A. Mello

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